In a major decision, the CBSE has brought back its mandatory no objection certificate (NOC) rule for schools seeking affiliation.

Now, while submitting an affiliation application, schools will have notion application, schools will have to furnish not only their state's NOC but also a certificate of recognition. The NOC rule had been revoked in 2013 after the then minister of state for human resources development Shashi Tharoor suggested it increases harassment of schools by state education officials. The reason a NOC is required is because every school starts off as a state board affiliate. Once its student’s progress to STD VIII, CBSE starts accepting affiliation requests for allowing those students to appear in Std X board exams. At the time of this application, CBSE asks for a NOC for change of board from the state education department. Following Tharoor's suggestion, the CBSE tweaked its affiliation policy in July 2013 and pretty much bypassed the entire state education department machinery. Tharoor, who was the driving force behind revoking of NOC clause, wanted to end the complications connected with the older rule. There were numerous complaints from across the country that state education departments would purposely delay issuing of NOCs, thus leading to cases of bribery.

Speaking to TOI just before the revoking of this rule in 2013, Tharoor had said, “I was informed about an incident where state education officials asked for bribes to grant the NOC. So this system is similar to our licence raj era and needs to be done away with. “

CBSE officials were unavailable for comment on why the rule was revoked.